ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer will host the Georgia National Guard tomorrow morning, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in order to perform sanitation on Parkside Ellijay and assist staff with training measures on sanitation and cleaning methods..
Days ago, the National Guard posted an article on their website by Maj. William Carraway. The article stated, “The Georgia National Guard is sending infection-control teams to nursing homes around the state to help limit the spread of COVID-19.”
“Our mission is to assist in disinfecting nursing homes,” said Col. John Till, safety officer for the Georgia Department of Defense, who is training the teams. “We are going to help decontaminate and disinfect rooms in which these citizens are quarantined to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
As for why they are coming, the Gilmer Public Safety Director Keith Kucera gave a prepared statement today saying, “Gilmer County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) was in contact with GEMA and GA National Guard in reference to a scheduled visit by the National Guard to Gilmer County on Tuesday, 07 April 2020. The GA National Guard, by request from Parkside Ellijay Nursing Care Center, will be at their site to assist and train staff in the proper techniques of cleaning and disinfecting. This visit by the National Guard is for preventative measures and training purposes only. The soldiers on site will demonstrate the proper wearing of decontamination suits and N-95 respirators to the nursing care center staff along with CDC guidance on cleaning specific to nursing homes. These services have been provided to numerous nursing care centers across the state by the National Guard. Gilmer County EMA welcomes this visit as these soldiers are here providing a requested humanitarian service to the Parkside Ellijay Nursing Care Center. We thank them for their service to the State of Georgia and to our Country.”
As they come to Ellijay tomorrow, local authorities are now making comments on the visit as well. The Ellijay Police Department posted to social media today saying, “Knowing our community, especially our online community, we wanted to preemptively get this information out so no one will be alarmed.”
Before the guard appears and citizens begin questioning authorities, County Commission Chairman Paris noted that Gilmer is now under the State’s order for sheltering at this time. Many also recall that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s order overtook local orders by cities and counties.
Working alongside the facility, Carraway’s article stated, “The infection control teams are the latest example of innovation by Georgia National Guard leaders and planners. These teams did not exist a week ago. They follow in the footsteps of the Georgia National Guard’s medical assistance teams (MATS), which are embedded at hospitals across Georgia. The MATs, composed of Georgia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen with backgrounds in medicine and health, were created and employed the past two weeks.”
Parkside Ellijay shares an actual building connection to the Piedmont Emergency Room in Ellijay. Ellijay Police assured citizens during the coming action saying, “All is well. There is no curfew. No one is taking over. No martial law. Just citizen warriors coming to assist local folks with training and information.” Similarly, the City of Woodstock made a public statement of the same activity in there city on social media this morning.
Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, the adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, said in Carraway’s article, “The Georgia National Guard stands ready to assist any long-term care facility in this time of need through staff training and implementation of infectious disease control measures. Our training has prepared us to fight this virus, and we are eager to lend a hand in this battle.”
ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Ellijay City Council voted unanimously to approve their COVID-19 State of Emergency Ordinance during the virtual meeting held on Wednesday, March 25, 2019, following the rest of the local governments in taking action against the spread of the virus.
The ordinance will be in effect for 14 days following the passing, though it also gives the mayor and the city council ability to extend the ordinance if need be, for a period not to exceed an additional 14 days.
Among other measures, no gathering of 10 or more people shall take place on city property while the ordinance is in effect, and restaurants may only service food via delivery, drive-thru or takeout.
Additionally, certain business’ such as gyms, fitness centers, pools, social clubs, amusement facilities, bowling alleys, pool halls, theaters, massage parlors, nail salons, etc. will be forced to close during this time.
The entirety of the ordinance may be viewed below:
A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY ARISING BECAUSE OF COVID-19; AN ORDINANCE TAKING IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY MEASURES
WHEREAS, the President of the United States declared a National Public Health Emergency on March 13, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Georgia declared a State Public Health Emergency on March 14, 2020 and urged”local officials to do what’s in the best interests of their communities to keep people safe and stop the spread of coronavirus’ on March 19, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a world health emergency and a pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 is escalating rapidly, internationally, nationally, and within our Public Health District; and
WHEREAS, based upon the experience of other local governments in Georgia, a growing number of other cases are likely to occur; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the President of the United States stated that any gathering of over 10 people should be discontinued or prohibited, and
WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, Governor Kemp announced that “certain individuals with an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 to isolate, quarantine, or shelter in place,” covering those who “live in long-term care facilities, have chronic lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a positive COVID-19 test, are suspected to have COVID-19 because of their symptoms or exposure, or have been exposed to someone who has СOVID-19”, and that the Department of Public Health would institute rules and regulations to implement such measures;
WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, Governor Kemp additionally announced measures to “close all bars and nightclubs and …ban all gatherings of ten or more people” unless they can assure spacing for at least six (6) feet apart between people at all times beginning at noon on March 24, 2020 and lasting until noon on April 6, 2020; and
WHEREAS, public health experts, including those at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH),have advised that individuals infected with COVID-19 are contagious even while experiencing minor or no symptoms and implored leaders to take immediate action to prevent further community spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, preventing and slowing community spread of COVID-19 provides health systems additional time to obtain personal protective equipment necessary to protect health care workers and medical equipment necessary to treat COVID-19, and is therefore vital to the health of the nation;
WHEREAS, in the judgment of the Mayor and Council of the City of Ellijay, there exist emergency circumstances located within its jurisdiction requiring extraordinary and immediate response for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the community, the state, and the nation; and
WHEREAS, it is essential for the governing authority of the City to act immediately in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent or minimize sickness, injury, or death, to people and damage to property resulting from this public health crisis; and
WHEREAS, O.C.G.A. $38-3-28 provides the political subdivisions of this state with the authority to make, amend, and rescind such orders, rules, and regulations as may be necessary for emergency management purposes to supplement rules and regulations promulgated by the Governor during a State of Emergency; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has previously held that “[u]pon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members”; and
WHEREAS, the Charter of the City of Ellijay provides the governing authority of the city with the authority to take actions deemed necessary to deal with such an emergency for the protection of the safety, health, and well-being of the citizens of the city; and
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that a local state of emergency exists within the City and shall continue until the conditions requiring this declaration are abated.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED AND ORDAINED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ELLIJAY AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Findings of Fact
For purposes of describing the circumstances which warrant the adoption of an emergency ordinance, the governing authority of the city hereby adopts and make the findings included in the “WHEREAS” clauses as findings of fact,
Section 2. Declaration of Public Health State of Emergency
The City Council hereby declares a public health state of emergency within the city because of the proliferation of COVID-19 in the United States and the State of Georgia, which will remain in force and effect for fourteen (14) days from the date hereof. In the event it becomes necessary to extend the public health state of emergency with the city due to the continued proliferation of COVID-19, the City Council hereby declares that the Mayor, upon obtaining advice and consent of the majority of the City Council, may unilaterally extend this emergency ordinance for an additional period not to exceed fourteen (14) days.
Section 3. Public Gatherings on City Property
For the duration of the declared emergency, there shall be no public gatherings on any property owned or controlled by the City. To avoid confusion, the following definitions shall apply under this Section: a “public gathering” shall mean the organized gathering or assembly of ten (10) or morepersons at a specific location; “property owned or controlled by the City” shall include any park, public square, public space, playground, recreational area, or similar place of public gathering, but nothing herein shall prohibit individuals or families from using sidewalks or designated pedestrian areas of parks for walking or other exercise if they are not participating in an organized gathering.
Section 4. Utility Services
Section 5. Classification of City Services
For the duration of the declared emergency, the Mayor shall be vested with the following discretion and authority, to wit:
(a) To categorize City services as either “required” or “discretionary,” and to
periodically review and modify such categories.
(b) To assign specific employees to required or discretionary services, and to
periodically review and modify such assignments. (c) To use his or her discretion to permit employees to telework.
(c) To temporarily suspend the provision of discretionary services and to direct
employees who provide discretionary services not to report to work until such time as the service suspension is lifted or until such time as the Mayor redirects
the employee to other services.
(d) To contract for and expend non-budgeted sums and services, as may in his or her
discretion be required to meet the demands upon government and services of the
City for the duration of the declared emergency, including therein authority to spend such sums from the reserves of the City. Any such non-budgeted
expenditures shall be reported to the governing authority of the City.
(e) To maintain, to the best of the ability of the resources of the City, the provision
of essential services, which shall include, but not be limited to, public safety,
public works, healthcare, and building permits.
Section 6. Tolling of Deadlines
Any deadlines for the purchasing or obtaining by persons or businesses of occupation tax certificates, permits or similar civil approvals mandated by the City Code shall be tolled for the duration of the emergency as established herein, and for 15 days thereafter. Such persons or businesses shall obtain necessary permissions required by law but deadlines set by the City Code are toiled for the duration of the emergency as established herein, and for 15 days thereafter.
Section 7. Eating Establishments
Restaurants and other eating and dining establishments where food is served must cease offering dine-in services but may continue preparing and offering food to customers via delivery, drive-through or take-out services. Patrons, employees and contractors of the establishments must maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others. If a restaurant is licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption, such restaurant, during the effective dates of this ordinance only, shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles or cans of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises;
Section 8. Closure of Certain Businesses
Gyms, fitness centers, pools, social clubs, amusement facilities, bowling alleys, pool halls, theaters, massage parlors, nail salons, and any other similar facility, any facility used for an activity that involves prolonged physical proximity ofindividuals, and any facility usedfor entertainment, social, grooming, or general health and wellbeing purposes,must close and remain closed for the duration of this emergency.
Section 9. Personal Distance
All other establishments not covered in Section 7 of this Ordinance such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and other businesses which remain open during the emergency inust post signage on entrance doors informing consumers to maintain at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others and shall not allow more than ten (10) people into such establishment at any one time if such social distancing cannot be maintained.
Section 10. Gatherings
All public and private gatherings of more than ten (10) people occurring outside of a household or living unit are prohibited. Nothing in this ordinance, however, prohibits the gathering of individuals for the purposes of carrying on business certified as “essential” by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency pursuant to O.C.G.A. $ 38-3-58 or designated by the Governor as “critical infrastructure” or the provision of medical or health services.
Section 11. Emergency Interim Successor to Mayor
The governing authority desires to make certain that the chain of authority within city management is clear. If the Mayor is unable to perform his or her duties, then the individual designated by the Mayor as the emergency interim successor pursuant to O.C.G.A. $ 38-3-50 shall assume the duties of the Mayor. This is the Mayor Pro Tem. Should the Mayor Pro Tem be unable to perform those duties, the longest serving council member shall then assume the duties of the Mayor.
Section 12. Curfew
Section 13. Procurement
The governing authority hereby suspends the bid and competitive portions of the City’s Procurement Policy or ordinances and authorize the Mayor to utilize the single-source policy and to require departments to provide a written justification for the procurement during the effective dates of this Resolution and/or utilize any emergency procurement provisions contained. City officials shall continue to seek the best prices during the state of emergency.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this Declaration are hereby suspended during the effective dates of this Declaration (or any extension thereof) and the terms and provisions of this Declaration shall prevail.
This Ordinance after adoption by the Council and upon approval by the Mayor shall become effective immediately.
ORDAINED AND RESOLVED, this 25th day of March, 2020.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Building, coordinating, and energizing a social function can be quite difficult, but doing one amid widespread quarantines and self imposed isolation is a completely different order, such as “Chalk Ellijay.”
We are here to support our community and lift the spirits of those around us. Please tune in until the end of this video for a fun way to stay positive and brighten someone’s day. We have always said that the Gilmer Chamber is a family and now it is time to show our community what this family is all about! #ThisIsEllijay
Posted by Gilmer Chamber on Friday, March 20, 2020
Gilmer County’s Chamber of Commerce has taken on exactly that task as they began a new event over the weekend. After an earlier video post from President/CEO Paige Green promising to help coordinate resources and business in the time of need. But, the video ended on a very different note.
Green said the Chamber’s two locations, the Downtown Welcome Center on the Square in Ellijay and the main office just off 515 in East Ellijay, now have baskets of chalk. What they are pushing to do with this chalk is building community and a neighborhood feeling by using the chalk to “Chalk Ellijay.”
A later post offered more details stating,
“(We get by with a little help from our friends.) In an effort to help lift our community’s spirit, we invite you to chalk your sidewalk or driveway with an encouraging message, snap a picture, and post it using #ThisIsEllijay so the community can see! Need chalk? Visit the downtown welcome center or Chamber office! We have chalk inside buckets for you. (Please only take one or two and leave some for your neighbor!) want to go the extra mile? Leave an encouraging message in the driveway of an at-risk/elderly/immune compromised friend and give them a call afterwards to let them know you’ve been by. (Let’s maintain social distancing 💪🏻) We will get through this together in heart.”
The idea of the chalk use is simple, but social media has been flooded over the last week from across the country with stories and videos of people do small things to build greater feeling and community.
From a man playing music in the common garden of an apartment complex for people to list to from their balconies to signs and gifts of people visiting elderly relatives outside the windows of their homes and apartments.
The local step is incorporating far more than just a few select groups though. The Chamber said, “We are here to support our community and lift the spirits of those around us… We have always said that the Gilmer Chamber is a family and now it is time to show our community what this family is all about!”
People are starting to take to social media, posting their own chalk art and messages, with even a few local businesses and restaurants joining in, too.
Homeward Bound Pet Rescue, Inc’s mission is to find safe, loving homes for unwanted pets in
the North Georgia area. Homeward Bound has re-homed over 7000 pets since 2000. We are a
100% non-profit, no-kill organization that is completely run by volunteers and depend on
donations, grants, Paws and Claws Thrift Store and fundraising events during the year.
Homeward Bound Pet Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 792
Ellijay, GA 30540
Apply on line: www.hbpr.org
LIKE us on FaceBook
If you’re looking for a loving little fun dog as your forever dog; look no further! We have Kanga!
Just so happens, he is looking for a forever home! This little 13# guy came to HB as an
underweight 8# dog with no vaccinations and a bad reputation from his previous owner. What
we have found is a little dog who is grateful for attention and a warm place to sleep; not an
aggressive bone in his body and is happiest when prancing on a leash, sitting on a lap and giving
We’d also love to tell you about volunteering, fostering and adoption opportunities.
Homeward Bound pets are up to date on vaccinations, treated month for fleas, ticks and heart
worms, spayed or neutered and are ready for adoption unless specified otherwise.
We are available for a “meet and greet” by appointment. The address is: 215 Wishon Drive,
Blue Ridge, GA (off Maxwell Road). We do recommend bringing everyone who will be involved
with the new pet; especially your dog(s).
Thank you for your support! We couldn’t survive without the help from our friends!
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Posted to their social media site, those in charge of this weekend’s St. Petrick’s Day Celebration have opted to cancel the event in the face of rising concerns of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Their statement said, “At the advice of local authorities and due to concerns over the CORVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) the 2020 St. Petrick’s Celebration and Pet Parade has decided to err on the side of caution and cancel the event.”
Other authorities in the county have already made statements on the virus, but no cases or reports have been seen in Gilmer.
The statement also noted that vendors and sponsors will be contacted individually for further details on St. Petrick’s Day and the financial side. However, they have already confirmed the event will return next year saying, “We thank you for your understanding and hope to see everyone at the 2021 St. Petrick’s Celebration and Pet Parade.”
Miss Tonya Davenport, age 53, of Cherry Log, Ga, died Monday February 24, 2020.
Miss Davenport was born, December 5, 1966, in Gilmer County the daughter of Monte Davenport and Carolyn Long. She was a nurse for Riverside Academy in Atlanta and of the Baptist Faith.
Survivors include: mother; Carolyn Long, father; Monte Davenport, sisters and brothers-in-law; Cyndi and Corey Brown, Monja and Jamie Norwood, brother and sister-in-law; Tyler and Kaylee Davenport, special niece and caregiver; Ariel Davenport, aunts, Ann Breeden, Sue Burgess and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday Feb. 29, 2020 at 2:00 pm from the chapel of Bernhardt Funeral Home with Rev. Kenny Hagin officiating. The family will meet with friends Saturday from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 in memory of Miss Davenport.
Bernhardt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Carol Lola Stone age 72 of Ellijay died Sunday February 16, 2020.
Mrs. Stone was born May 9, 1947, in, Madison GA the daughter of the late Edward and Vannie Brooks Fitzpatrick. She was a high school graduate, homemaker and loved poetry, books, painting, animals, and living in the mountains.Her parents, Billie R Stone (spouse), Amy Noel Stone (daughter), Lisa Stone (daughter in law) preceded her in death.
Survivors include: Children: Lara Stone daughter, Ryan Stone son, Julie flowers daughter, Shawn flowers son in law, Grand children:, Joshua Flowers, Caitlin Flowers, Abigail Flowers, Tori Stone, Great-grandchildren:, Jericho Flowers, Keegan Flowers, Brother: Edward Fitzpatrick ,Brother in law: Lee Stone, Sister in law: Mary Stone, Sister in law: Joyce Stone ,along with many nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service is being planned and will be announced later.
Bernhardt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. George Washington Lee, age 90, of Ellijay, died Sunday, February 16, 2020.
Mr. Lee was born, February 16, 1930, in Atlanta, the son of the late George W. and Viola Hill Lee. He held a Master’s Degree and was a retired teacher with the Fulton County School System.
He is preceded in death by his wife; Betty Moore Lee.
Survivors include: sons and daughters-in-law: George and Rebecca Lee, Newnan, Eric and Amanda Lee, Holly Springs, 3 grandchildren.
No services are planned.
Bernhardt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Andrew Leon “Andy” Keener age 62, of Ellijay, died Monday, February 24, 2020.
Mr. Keener was born, July 14, 1957, in Gilmer County the son of Lorene Mullins Keener and the late Alvin Keener. He was retired from Lance trucking and was a member of the Liberty Baptist Church. He is preceded in death by his father, son; Robbie Keener, sisters; Linda Nicholson and Barbara Strickland.
Survivors include; wife; Rita Griffin Keener, sons and daughters-in-law; Adam and Abigail Keener, Matthew and Amanda Keener, mother; Lorene Keener, Ellijay, sister; Lisa Kell Ellijay, 8 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2:00 pm from the chapel of Bernhardt Funeral Home with Rev. David Nicholson and Rev. Mitchell Pack officiating. Interment will be in the Liberty Baptist Church cemetery.
The family will meet with friends Tuesday from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm at the funeral home. Family also request no food be brought to the funeral home.
Bernhardt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
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Mrs. Tammy Ruth Beavers age 48 of Ellijay died Friday Feb. 14, 2020.
Mrs. Tammy Ruth Beavers was born August 17, 1971 in Maryland to Leslie Lamar Johnson and Dianna Rice Johnson. She acquired a Bachelor’s degree. She was also a homemaker.
Survivors include; Husband: Tommy Beavers, Ellijay Sons: Josh Beaver, Cumming, Nathan Gardner, Ellijay Daughters: Desiree Carpenter FL, Kathryn Sales, Ellijay, Tiffany Longboat, Ontario Canada, Brothers: Craig Eagan, FL, Sister: Kathy Baker, NC, Mother-in-law: Brenda Beavers, Canton, Sister-in-law: Lisa Hardman, Canton 13 Grandchildren several nieces and nephews also survive.
A gathering of friends and family will be held Monday Feb. 17, 2020 from 12:00pm until 6:00pm at the funeral home.
Bernhardt Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Mrs. Beavers.
Mr. Johnny Couch Jr. age 80 of Ellijay GA died Feb. 15, 2020.
Mr. Johnny Couch Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1940 in Greenville South Carolina to John Couch Sr. and Grace Ramsey Couch. He was employed by Canton Mill, and was also of the Baptist Faith.
He is preceded in death by his wife Shirley Couch, son Mark Couch, daughters Deborah Maupin, and Gail Kitchen.
Survivors include: Johnny Couch, Jasper GA, Derrick Couch, Ellijay GA, Brother: Tony Couch Jasper GA, 12 Grandchildren: Mikie Maupin, Chyrstal Maupin, Heather Maupin, Kisha Pugh, Chad Couch, Ariel Couch, Corey Couch, Carsyn Couch, Daniel Couch, Torre Couch, Brittany Couch, Melissa Couch 4 great-grandchildren: Seth Simlery, Nathan Pugh, Haley Pugh, Remi Couch Several nieces and nephews also survive.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday February 19 at 1:00pm from the Mt. Pisgah Church Cemetery with Rev. James Nickels officiating.
The Family will receive friends Wed. Feb 19 from 9:00 am until 12:30pm at the funeral home.
In Lieu of flowers the family ask that donations may be made to the funeral expenses in memory of Mr. Couch.
Bernhardt Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Mr. Couch.
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